Comparison Shopping Services: Why Use a CSS Partner for Google Shopping Ads
Sep 8, 2021

Comparison Shopping Services: Why Use a CSS Partner for Google Shopping Ads

Comparison Shopping Services (CSS) can help ecommerce businesses boost their online exposure and sell more products through Google Shopping ads.

In the UK, Google Shopping ads account for 82% of ad spend, generating 87.9% of all clicks. This is a great opportunity for retailers to include Google Shopping ads in their marketing strategies and use CSSs to boost their Shopping ads potential. 

Here’s why using a CSS partner can be beneficial for your ecommerce business

What is a Comparison Shopping Service (CSS) ?

As Google puts it, CSS is “a website that collects product offers from online retailers and then sends users to the retailers’ websites to make a purchase”.

In other words, CSSs help ecommerce businesses place their products through Shopping ads.

How does a CSS work ?

CSS partners bid on behalf of merchants that choose to work with them, placing Shopping ads on Google’s general search results pages for them.

As the image below suggests, retailers can either run Google Shopping Ads campaigns directly through Google or via a CSS partner. Both alternatives will place Shopping ads on Google’s general search results but at different costs.

CSS partners across Europe vary, with some operating as Managed Services, Self-Service or Hybrid services with a variety of sectors (From fashion to home goods, electronics, etc.).

Benefits of using a CSS partner

1.     Cheaper Bids

Working with a Google CSS Partner helps merchants reduce their Google Shopping ads Cost per Click (CPC) by approximately 20%. Essentially retailers can see their ads and products served in Google Search results at a lower cost than advertising directly through Google.

This wasn’t always the case. In 2017 Google was hit with a €2.42bn antitrust fine by the European Commission for unfairly favouring its own shopping service and ads over competitors in search results. As a result, Google launched their Google CSS Partnership program which now enables CSS partners to offer Google Shopping traffic at a 20% reduction.

The graph below illustrates how bids work via CSS.

2.     Double Ad visibility

Merchants can appear twice on the same auction, for example when operating through a CSS as well as Google at the same time. Normally, Google ensures that these ads aren’t appearing next to each other within the same auction.

3.  Further growth opportunities

When saving up to 20% on CPCs, merchants can reinvest the savings into their advertising efforts to grow the account. If done effectively, this will help increase overall Impressions, Clicks and Conversions.

Choosing a CSS Partner


Google offers a list of premium partners in the UK and internationally. While having options is great, choosing the right one can be difficult. The first step would be to request an introduction demo from your CSS of interest to learn more about their service and what else they can offer.

There is a handful of premium partners and Shoptimised is the UK's only 100% free Comparison Shopping Service.

Also, consider using a CSS that offers other Google Shopping ads services that you can invest in to boost your ecommerce exposure even further.

As a Google CSS Partner, we can advertise your products on Google Shopping traffic at 20% less than going directly. Contact us today to discuss your options.

Header Image Credit: Unsplash - Thomas Lefebvre


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